Bitcoin prices fall as South Korea says ban still an option


Amid fears of a collapse of cryptocurrencies following a week which has seen bitcoin, ethereum and ripple all see a fall in price, Mr Torvekar said: "Ethereum is here to stay".

The price of the world's biggest and best-known cryptocurrency fell on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, a six-week low and close to half the peak price of nearly $20,000 it reached in December.

"There is a lot of panic in the market". "I don't get it", he said. The short version of the concept is that users could convert bitcoin into BitConnect's currency (BCC-USD), which would then be lent out and would earn the lenders enormous returns - up to 40% per month. Bitcoin, XRP, ethereum, cardano, litecoin, etc., have absolutely no intrinsic value or substance.

The country has seen a huge bitcoin craze, with young and old betting on the crypto currency to build wealth. For starters, this is a data site and a news site that has been closely following the performance of virtual currency. The cryptocurrency market is notoriously volatile but events in South Korea appear to have a disproportionate effect on trading.

Separately, a senior Chinese central banker said authorities should ban centralised trading of virtual currencies as well as individuals and businesses that provide related services.

All said and done, bitcoin's present crash should come as no surprise to its sceptics.

Bitcoin is not real money, and Visa will not process any transactions that are cryptocurrency-based, the credit card giant's CEO Alfred Kelly told CNBC.

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrencies or a recommendation to invest.

While many observers say the recent falls show that the bubble has burst, those backing the nascent markets say that regulation is welcomed and wild price swings to be expected.

There's been little bad press through the day to shock the markets, which is good news going into the weekend, though for the rest of the day the futures market could be the stumbling block, with the Cboe's February contract down $15 to $11,750, marginally lower than Bitcoin's current value.

Ripple's XRP, which just a few days ago had the second-highest market capitalization, has lost over three-fourths of its market value since peaking at $3.84 on January 4.

Amidst such contradicting views on cryptocurrencies, the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as well as Ethereum has begun rising now and it remains to be seen whether this is just a relief rally or whether the prices of these cryptocurrencies would actually continue to rise and surpass the older highs. On January 11, the country's justice minister Park Sang-ki had announced that the Asian country, boasting of a significant chunk of bitcoin traders, was planning to draft Bill that seeks to close cryptocurrency trading.